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RICHARDSON, TX-The new owner of a single-tenant, two-building complex has kicked off demolition to convert it into multi-tenant use, unveiling the class B office space at a $5.50 per sf bargain-basement rate. Seller Blue Cross/Blue Shield had the holding up for sale at $44 per sf.

Jim Lake Cos. slipped past seven others in the running for the 75,000-sf. “We convinced them we could close it,” Jim Lake, president of the locally based real estate company, tells GlobeSt.com, “and that we had a good plan for it.” Ironically, Lake’s father decades ago prepped the area for development, including the land under buildings built 20 years ago for Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s Dallas group.

The 1201 and 1251 S. Sherman St. buildings in the Telecom Corridor sped from contract to close in 45 days, says Lake, who secured an interim loan from Inwood Bank in Dallas for acquisition and rehab capital. Renamed to the Sherman Technology Center, the twin buildings will be retooled for small users, with suites as small as 2,000 sf. About 20,000 sf will be pre-finished for ready-to-go suites for the Jim Lakes Co. team of A. Taylor Allday, asset manager, and Jamie Slagle to show.

“I was looking across the street when I stumbled onto this in the process,” Allday says of the 3.5-acre property with the Texas Instruments Inc.’s campus at the end of the block. Just months later, the asset, assessed at $1.7 million, is being gutted by the new owner’s in-house general contractor, Clay Butler Construction Co.

Allday says the $5.50 per sf tag on the space definitely has attracted attention. “People were really shocked when the rate started popping up,” he says. “We don’t think anybody can beat it.”

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